Paul’s Preacher Probem: Meet Phillip G. Kayser

It seems like every election we have another extreme religious figure who becomes a campaign issue for a candidate. Obama had Rev. Wright and McCain had Rev. Hagee and Parsley. Sarah Palin has an actual Kenyan witch hunter. Now Ron Paul has his own embarrassing association. The preacher is Rev. Phillip G. Kayser, a pastor at the Dominion Covenant Church in Nebraska, who has a following in Iowa. The Paul campaign issued a press release (that it later removed from its site) heralding the endorsement of Kayser. The problem is that Kayser believes that gays should be executed according to biblical law. It was a a highly destructive endorsement for Paul who is attracting civil libertarians to his campaign. No one can stop someone from endorsing you, but the campaign clearly sought this endorsement from an extremist with reprehensible views. Unlike Wright, Kayser is not Paul’s personal minister, but the press release made him Paul’s problem in reaching out to civil libertarians.

While the campaign was right to pull the press release, it now should take responsibility and disassociate from Kayser. This is, in my view, another example of the dangers of faith-based politics, something that I have long condemned as inimical to separation principles.

I have not hidden my admiration for Paul, with whom I have spent considerable time discussing constitutional and policy questions. He is genuinely committed to the anti-war and civil liberties issues that he has made part of his campaign — the only such candidate in either the Democratic and Republican campaigns.

It was Paul’s Iowa chair, Drew Ivers, who recently touted the endorsement of Kayser — stating “the enlightening statements he makes on how Ron Paul’s approach to government is consistent with Christian beliefs.” Either Ivers did not know about Kayser’s extremist views (which is possible) or he didn’t care (which would be scary).

Kayser has stated that he and Paul disagree on homosexual rights, including Paul’s support for repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Paul also voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment. Kayser’s views are toxic and hateful. He told TPM, for example, he wanted to reinstate Biblical punishments for homosexuals, which include the death penalty. It is also a concern that Paul’s Iowa state director, Mike Heath, led the Christian Civic League of Maine and was involved in an anti-gay campaign in that state.

It was not Paul’s view on homosexuality but his view on federalism that attracted Kayser. “Under a Ron Paul presidency, states would be freed up to not have political correctness imposed on them, but obviously some state would follow what’s politically correct.” I share many of Paul’s federalism concerns about the shift toward unlimited federal jurisdiction. However, Kayser appears to think that federalism means that states can exempt themselves from the Bill of Rights. He is obviously wrong. Yet, he views federalism as a way of restructuring society along sectarian lines: “Ron Paul’s strictly Constitutional civics is far closer to Biblical civics than any of the other candidate’s on a whole range of issues.”

Kayser’s church appears at war with the separation of church and state — heralding a society that directs implements Christian rules and values:

Christ said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18). Not some authority or most authority, but “all authority.” There is no square inch of planet earth over which Christ does not have authority. He has the authority to rule over the state, business, farming, science, art, economics, education, etc. This means that all of life must be governed by His Law-Word. Christ will not be satisfied until all enemies are placed under His feet (1 Corinthians 15:20-28), and “He will not fail nor be discouraged, till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands shall wait for His law” (Isaiah 42:4). A major portion of the church’s ministry must be to call all competing authorities to repentance through the faithful teaching of the Law-Word of Scripture.

That vision of government seems strikingly similar to the model found in places like Iran, which apply their own religious code.

Notably, he admits that it may be difficult to switch over to a Christian version of Sharia law.

“Difficulty in implementing Biblical law does not make non-Biblical penology just. But as we have seen, while many homosexuals would be executed, the threat of capital punishment can be restorative. Biblical law would recognize as a matter of justice that even if this law could be enforced today, homosexuals could not be prosecuted for something that was done before.”

Notably, the Dominion Covenant Church proclaims its purpose as “[p]romoting and enjoying the dominion of King Jesus over every area of life.” The church calls for “a reconstruction of our society.”
For civil libertarians who are unwilling to support President Obama after his long record of rolling back on civil liberties and increasing national security powers, including his recent signing of a law allowing for indefinite detention of citizens, Paul has become an alternative candidate. However, he cannot court civil libertarians while maintaining associations with such people as Kayser. Once his campaign chair put out the press release, it became a campaign issue and requires more than just a withdrawal of the release without comment.

Source: TPM

96 thoughts on “Paul’s Preacher Probem: Meet Phillip G. Kayser

  1. The politicians who the power brokers front for us to choose from reminds me of going to a restaurant where all the food has varying degrees of poison in it.

    To have a political ideology based on he or she “has less poison” than the others is no way to run a civilization.

  2. Dredd….

    You can’t say it much better than that….. I will liken it to people who say that they need to shed a few pounds and eat a “happy meal” for lunch everyday…. Makes not for the opportunity to be happy…. But the marketer has done its job…

  3. Paul has always appealed to right wing evangelical christians. How do you think he got elected to his rural Texas district? He thinks he can put together a coalition of christian dominionists, anti- war activists, civil libertarians, white supremists, and people that have a lot of science fiction books on their book shelves. It works for some as he is one of the leaders in Iowa.

  4. JT – Please make the correction that DBC mentions before it becomes widely quoted.

    Here is a cached version of the Keyser endorsement that the Paul campaign removed from the website. It begins:

    Ron Paul Endorsed by Eminent Pastor Rev. Phil Kayser, Ph.D.

    Dr. Kayser says, “Ron Paul’s strictly Constitutional civics is far closer to Biblical civics than any of the other candidate’s on a whole range of issues.”

    ANKENY, Iowa – 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul was endorsed today by renowned pastor, theologian, and prolific author Rev. Phillip G. Kayser, Ph.D.

    Rev. Kayser is the Senior Pastor of Dominion Covenant Church based in Omaha, Nebraska. The Church has a national footprint including in Iowa where Ron Paul, the 12-term Congressman from Texas, is competing in the January 3, 2012 caucus.

    In making his endorsement, Dr. Kayser mentioned he was doing so as a private citizen and not on behalf of his congregation and the organizations with which he is affiliated.

    “We welcome Rev. Kayser’s endorsement and the enlightening statements he makes on how Ron Paul’s approach to government is consistent with Christian beliefs. We’re thankful for the thoughtfulness with which he makes his endorsement and hope his endorsement and others like it make a strong top-three showing in the caucus more likely,” said Ron Paul 2012 Iowa Chairman Drew Ivers.

  5. “It was Paul’s Iowa chair, Drew Ivers, who recently touted the endorsement of Kayser — stating ‘the enlightening statements he makes on how Ron Paul’s approach to government is consistent with Christian beliefs.'”

    This problem seems to keep popping up for poor Paul … somebody else is always associating him with problematic material … from racist newsletters to a “death-to-all-gays preacher … if only he could purge those somebody elses from his life, the real Ron Paul could shine.

  6. Anonymouly Yours 1, December 30, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Political Economics 101…. You’ve got it, I want. I’ve got it, you want it, tough shit….
    That really is the essence of a plutocracy sitting on top of a plutonomy, which is what we have descended into.

  7. JT, I admire you for putting out this information as clearly you do see Paul as a person you would vote for. Here is my worry.

    You were equally honest about Obama’s FISA vote yet you still voted for him. That vote told people who could listen, everything they needed to know about candidate/president Obama, yet most people were unable to listen to the meaning of that vote. They consequence of failure to take notice of what that vote meant was a disaster for our nation.

    There are a number of disturbing choices and statements by Ron Paul, ones that to my mind are indicative of who he is and who he would be as a president. I have read up on Libertarianism and consider it a form of fascism in its own right. I do not think Ron Paul will be a beacon of civil liberties for women, the poor, black men who aren’t rich or people who are LBGT.

    The failure to protect everyone’s civil rights means that Paul is not really for civil rights. He is for them selectively, meaning again, by whim of whomever is in power, not as a true civil right. This does not bring us back to the rule of law, something we need more than almost anything at this point.

    Although I am in complete agreement that we need to end our wars of empire and abolish the FED, and Paul has stood for these things consistently, putting him well to the left of Obama, he has real problems which would not allow me to vote for him.

    A red flag is a red flag.

  8. “I have read up on Libertarianism and consider it a form of fascism in its own right. I do not think Ron Paul will be a beacon of civil liberties for women, the poor, black men who aren’t rich or people who are LBGT.”


    Well said as were the points you made below it. Add those to Blouse:

    This problem seems to keep popping up for poor Paul … somebody else is always associating him with problematic material … from racist newsletters to a “death-to-all-gays preacher … if only he could purge those somebody elses from his life, the real Ron Paul could shine.”

    And you have two concise statements that make the case against Paul. With Paul there seems to be too many threads of attachment to extremely
    virulent causes. The problem is that these attachments are not some tangential inferences, but as in this case and that of his newsletter, they are direct to the person.

  9. Well said, Jill, but I don’t think Paul is “well to the left of Obama” on social or economic issues. He is far to the right.

  10. I reminded of Rome in the First Century. Gibbon notes, “The influence of the clergy, in an age of superstition, might be usefully employed to assert the rights of mankind; but so intimate is the connection between the throne and the altar, that the banner of the church has very seldom been seen on the side of the people. A martial nobility and stubborn commons, possessed of arms, tenacious of property, and collected into constitutional assemblies, form the only balance capable of preserving a free constitution against enterprises of an aspiring prince.” ( The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch. 3).

    Gibbon also explains the effect of religiosity on the Empire:

    “The clergy successfully preached the doctrines of patience and pusillanimity; the active virtues of society were discouraged; and the last remains of military spirit were buried in the cloister: a large portion of public and private wealth was consecrated to the specious demands of charity and devotion; and the soldiers’ pay was lavished on the useless multitudes of both sexes who could only plead the merits of abstinence and chastity. Faith, zeal, curiosity, and more earthly passions of malice and ambition, kindled the flame of theological discord; the church, and even the state, were distracted by religious factions, whose conflicts were sometimes bloody and always implacable; the attention of the emperors was diverted from camps to synods; the Roman world was oppressed by a new species of tyranny; and the persecuted sects became the secret enemies of their country. Yet party-spirit, however pernicious or absurd, is a principle of union as well as of dissension. The bishops, from eighteen hundred pulpits, inculcated the duty of passive obedience to a lawful and orthodox sovereign; their frequent assemblies and perpetual correspondence maintained the communion of distant churches; and the benevolent temper of the Gospel was strengthened, though confirmed, by the spiritual alliance of the Catholics. The sacred indolence of the monks was devoutly embraced by a servile and effeminate age….” id. ch. 39)

  11. I must concur with Blouise, Jill and Mike in re Ron Paul. He has selected stances that are very desirable to reform government in ways it needs to be reformed, but many of his other policy planks are simply either untenable or likely to exacerbate preexisting social, economic and political problems. As a comprehensive voter (as opposed to a single issue voter), I cannot say strongly enough that Ron Paul – while he has his strong points – is simply the wrong man for the job of President. That being said, nobody else currently running deserves the job either.

  12. Thank you Mike S.

    Here is a series on Libertarianism. It’s interesting and well written but there is one thing I don’t like about it. Dittmer uses a composite of Libertarians to represent their view point without saying directly that he was doing this. Still he quotes from major works of Libertarian philosophy so we understand what Libertarianism is based on. He points the reader to the logical consequences of what at first sounds rather innocuous, but in examining how the idea might actually play out, there is a different, much more disturbing story.

    It’s worth the read. “Tuesday, November 29, 2011
    Journey into a Libertarian Future: Part I –The Vision (at Naked Capitalism)

    By Andrew Dittmer, who recently finished his PhD in mathematics at Harvard and is currently continuing work on his thesis topic. He also taught mathematics at a local elementary school. Andrew enjoys explaining the recent history of the financial sector to a popular audience.”

    Simulposted at The Distributist Review and Naked Capitalism


    Regarding Kayser:

    “He is the professor of ethics at Whitefield Theological Seminary in Lakeland, Florida.”

    “Phil Kayser is a frequent conference speaker on many subjects, and he has applied Scripture to politics in three presidential candidate campaigns. He also has been an occasional guest teacher and consultant at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.”

  14. Gene,

    Have you looked into the Green and Justice party. There is even a Republican you might like, Buddy Roemer. That said, to may way of thinking, worrying about the next president is somewhat of a waste of time.

    The problems facing us need to be addressed immediately, by citizens. There doesn’t appear to be in cavalry coming. We need a citizen’s movement for peace, environmental and social justice and the rule of law. I think we should be less distracted by candidates and work as a people for things we really want. OWS is a good model. I think the authorities agree with me because they certainly have pulled out all the stops to kill that movement off!

  15. I cannot say strongly enough that Ron Paul – while he has his strong points – is simply the wrong man for the job of President. That being said, nobody else currently running deserves the job either. -Gene H.

    And therein lies the rub… Absent a miracle of some sort, what in the hell is a voter to do?

  16. “That said, to my way of thinking, worrying about the next president is somewhat of a waste of time.” -Jill

    Agreed. There’s still a lot of time between now and the next election.

    Jill also said, “The problems facing us need to be addressed immediately, by citizens. There doesn’t appear to be in cavalry coming. We need a citizen’s movement for peace, environmental and social justice and the rule of law.”

    True, true and true. We need Watergate-like moment… We’re unlikely to see one, but it doesn’t keep me from hoping… There are Stasi-like groups operating in our communities. They’re working beneath the radar of most but, make no mistake, they are a serious problem for anyone who gives a damn about the future of our country.

  17. Not too much for a disaffected democrat to do, anon nurse, except to vote for a random third party and allow a republican sweep.

  18. Not too much for a disaffected democrat to do, anon nurse, except to vote for a random third party and allow a republican sweep. -Swarthmore mom

    Well, it’s not November of 2012, yet. We’ll see where things stand then… There’s a lot of time… a lot of time… (Fell free to say “I told you so” when November rolls around without that Watergate-like moment… :-) )

  19. S.M.,

    There is a lot to do. Everyone has health, time and financial limits. I respect that. But what ever amount of health, time and finances you can contribute to a true citizen’s movement for justice would help.

    It is also important to tell current and hopeful candidates for any office of any party that you will not support them in word or deed when they currently harm or intend to harm other people or the rule of law. That one thing alone is powerful.

    Telling sociopaths that you will speak up for them, send them money and vote for them, is a powerful action. You are telling them you accept their behavior. You are telling them you support that harm. That is why we have a police state in this nation. People have been willing to support it.

    Unless you actually support police state actions, the harm of other human beings and the destruction of the rule of law, then you do have power. You have the power to make it known that you will not EVER support people who engage in those types of things.

    In advance, I know there will be people saying, what about the supreme court? We already have real evidence to go on about that. Obama appointed Eric Holder to run the DOJ and has instructed him to ignore the rule of law with regards to serious war and financial crimes. He has tortured and imprisoned Bradley Manning. Omar Kadhr is still being held in Gitmo. Obama has claimed he is above the law. There’s your answer.

    Take the power of telling the powerful wrong doers that you withdraw support. You might pay for doing this, but it is something worth paying for.

  20. While I’m not a fan of Iowa’s caucuses, I appreciate this young man’s spirit… The stakes have never been higher — it couldn’t be clearer… We have to do all that we can, starting now. Jill was right on the mark in her last comment.

    A good friend of mine, Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs, gave the opening welcome for the People’s Caucus on Tuesday night. The following was his statement (as seen on C-Span):

    Friends, neighbors, members of the press, visiting Occupy delegates, honored guests, welcome. I’d like to begin with some words from a great American leader of the past. He wrote:

    ‘I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.’

    These words of President Abraham Lincoln, in 1864, resonate loud and clear tonight, in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2011.

    We have gathered here tonight because the political system in the United States no longer represents the values of the American public. Just as President Lincoln predicted, the money-power of the country now resides in the hands of a tiny portion of the population, the 1%.

    We are here tonight to overthrow money-power with people power. We are here tonight as citizens and patriots to preserve our democracy from the corrupting influence of Wall Street and big corporations. We are here tonight to raise our voices in defense of the American dream. We are here tonight to restore the American political system and American society, to make it human-centered, not profit-centered. We are here tonight to follow through on the vision of our founders and the vision of the great American social movements of the past, the movements that ended slavery, gave women the right to vote, ended racial segregation in our communities, established safe working conditions and good wages for hard-working Americans and their families. We are here tonight, because our political leaders are no longer able to lead us.

    Now is the time for us to lead, for the people of the United States, the 99%, to rise up, and restore America, to recreate it, truly, as a nation of opportunity, equality, and justice. Honored guests, members of the 99%, we are here tonight because of you. ‘Join Us!’ we cried, and you have answered. And for that, we thank you, and we bid you welcome to the first-in-the-nation People’s Caucus!

  21. Jill,

    Great catch! I’ve posted the link below because I think everyone should read it. I’m not certain if the interview was real or sardonically ironic, but that is immaterial. It does present the ultimate result of a society that is run on Ayn Rand and/or Libertarian principles. That such a society would be ultimately fascistic is a no-brainer. What was expressed in this interview is the ultimate result of Libertarianism rampant.

  22. Mespo,

    Thanks for the Gibbon quote. I only have and have read the abridged editions of the whole series, but that was enough to make me realize that it is one of the greatest historical works ever written. Gibbon had a great flair for capturing the historical essence of the Romans and contextualizing it so that the history was a universal commentary on the sad history of humanity.

  23. Mike S.,

    IMO, Libertarianism is the guiding principle of our lizard overlords! We now live in the dictatorship of the GLObotariat!

    Although I am being humorous about it, I mean what I say. What’s worse is that many of Libertarianism’s key tenants are believed by quite a few people in our society. This is becoming less true as middle and working class people sink into poverty. These tenants are more difficult to sustain when applied to one’s own poverty than they were when used to “explain” away the poverty of others.

    I’m not discounting the neo-liberal and neo-conservative nature of the overlord’s thought system, it’s just that what seems to really underlie their thinking is Libertarianism. I’d be interested to see if you think that is true or not.

  24. Jill,

    My contention here for a long time has been that the country’s elite (the 1%), whether right or left is steering us in the direction of Corporate Feudalism. It really is class warfare and they are waging it. One has to look beyond the various “Isms ” to see that it is motivated by the need of certain people to have power. Progressivism, for instance, as it was defined by Teddy Roosevelt, was very structured on the correctness of an elite ruling class.

    The Libertarian viewpoint. is less an “Ism” and more a codification of might makes right. That was amply shown in the article you referenced. The “Isms” are merely the fog to keep us confused. As in Watergate the maxim always should be “follow the money”. Even very smart people can be confused by the Libertarian lure. We all believe in “freedom” don’t we? As in the article you referenced “freedom” can be defined in horrific ways.

  25. Mike, great link to Dr. Dittmer’s interview with the libertarian. I don’t think it is satire or a spoof, because some of the Ayn Rand admirers who have been hanging out on this site have said many of the same things. Dittmer does a good job of pulling it all together. He says this posting is the first of a six part series. The selfishness and lack of understanding of the Law of Unintended Consequences is reason to give any rational person pause.

  26. Mike S:

    “Thanks for the Gibbon quote. I only have and have read the abridged editions of the whole series, but that was enough to make me realize that it is one of the greatest historical works ever written.”


    Gibbon’s work was the first serious historical work I ever attempted. I slogged through it, complaining all the way, and feeling it more punishment that pedagogy. Like a lot of sons’ relationships with their fathers, it takes a lot of time and reflection to realize that the first one you ever meet is the best one.

  27. Mespo,

    About 25 years ago at a yard sale I found this bound 5 book set for $2. I was always curious about Gibbon so I bought it and read it. Blown away by his prose, the information and his point of view. I’ve always read a lot of history, but Gibbon opened my eyes to the work of a true historian.

  28. SwM,

    As in my discussion with Jill, Libertarians are hardly the warm and fuzzy civil liberties people that others would hope they would be. The reality of a Libertarian society would play out into a strict hierarchical system, where only those with power would rule. It is truly feudalism by another name, but the structure would be the same. Little fiefdoms as vassals owing their allegiance to their multi-national Lords. Everyone else a serf or slave, which is the same difference.

  29. Mike S:

    “About 25 years ago at a yard sale I found this bound 5 book set for $2.”

    That would qualify as a treasure trove for less than price of a cup of coffee. Now you’d be lucky to find anyone who knows who Gibbon is, much less possess his works. You probably couldn’t get a three tape VHS rendition of Star Wars for $2.00.

  30. “At the John Birch Society 50th anniversary gala, Ron Paul spoke to another favorite theme of the Reconstructionists and others in the religious right: that of the “remnant” left behind after evil has swept the land. (Gary North’s publication is called The Remnant Review.) In a dispatch on Paul’s keynote address, The New American, the publication of the John Birch Society, explained, “He claimed that the important role the JBS has played was to nurture that remnant and added, ‘The remnant holds the truth together, both the religious truth and the political truth.'”

    This quote is from SwM’s link above. The John Birch Society has throughout its long history been racist, misogynistic, homophobic and anti-Jewish. It does not and never has accepted democracy, but instead favors rule by the wealthy elite. For Paul to be speaking at any JBS event, much less their 50th anniversary, means he is one with them. I don’t understand how anyone can believe he will protect our civil liberties.

  31. Gibbon gave me fits but, as time went on I found myself constantly referring back to his work. Mespo’s words ” … it takes a lot of time and reflection to realize that the first one you ever meet is the best one.” brought a genuine smile to my face.

    “As long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters.” … beautiful

  32. Blouise:

    Here’s a line from the Introduction, I ‘ve remebered all these years for the beautiful parallels and irony of the text:

    “After a war of about forty years, undertaken by the most stupid, maintained by the most dissolute, and terminated by the most timid of all the emperors, the far greater part of the island submitted to the Roman yoke.”

    I love the Rule of Three!

  33. raff, I am sure the acorn did not fall far from the tree, but I have been unable to ascertain whether the Koch offspring are currently active members. The brothers may have either lost interest or kept their membership a secret. What is not a secret are the strong ties between Robert Welch and Fred Koch, and the fact the two of them founded the JBS.

    The fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet Union also made the JBS’s original anti-communist purpose more or less irrelevant. Furthermore, the Koch clan are all about making money and right now the smart money guys are doing business with Communist China. It might be bad for business for them to be too overtly anti-communist.

    They are still economic thugs.

  34. mespo,

    I did take some issue with Gibbon’s thoughts on this matter but my prof helped me to place the comment in its time both for Gibbon and the history he was delineating:

    “Female courage, however it may be raised by fanaticism, or confirmed by habit, can be only a faint and imperfect imitation of the manly valour that distinguishes the age or country in which it may be found.”

    And then:

    “The voice of history… is often little more than the organ of hatred or flattery.”

    There is a lovely wit at work and once I finally recognized it, I was forever smitten … which led to enjoying the scholarship. My prof was thrilled.

  35. mespo,

    But it was around this one, short, phrase that I eventually built my entire philosophy of life and recognized it not until it was fully constructed and in use:

    “all that is human must retrograde if it do not advance…”

  36. The Damage of 2011 Published: December 30, 2011 NYTimes

    After they took power in January, the hard-line Republicans who dominate the House reached for a radical overhaul of American government, hoping to unravel the social safety net, cut taxes further for the wealthy and strip away regulation of business. Fortunately, thanks to defensive tactics by Democrats, they failed to achieve most of their agenda.

    But they still did significant damage in 2011 to many of the most important functions of government, and particularly to investments in education, training and transportation that the country will need for a sound economic recovery.

    With a threatened government shutdown in April, the Republicans pushed through spending cuts of about $25 billion over a decade. Then, in August, the agreement to raise the debt ceiling — an unnecessary crisis created by the Republicans — cut nearly $2 trillion through 2021 with strict spending caps, a move that will hurt hundreds of programs serving millions of Americans for a full decade and longer.

    Given the level of extortion they faced, the White House budget office and Congressional Democrats negotiated relatively well. They prevented Republicans from touching Medicare recipients, Medicaid, Social Security and other programs. (President Obama did offer to cut entitlement spending in exchange for higher tax revenues, but Republicans refused that deal.) They arranged for more than $500 billion in cuts to come from defense spending. And they did not agree to extend the Bush tax cuts, now scheduled to expire at the end of 2012.

    But that still leaves major reductions in the vital category known as nondefense discretionary spending, which faces cuts of around $800 billion over a decade. That category includes education, housing assistance, transportation, public health, veterans benefits, law enforcement and courts, environmental protection and many other crucial programs.

    This spending category has been the main focus of Republican pressure for decades. In the 1970s, nondefense discretionary spending represented about 5 percent of the gross domestic product; that is now down to about 2.5 percent. Over the next decade, once the new cuts go into effect, it will decline to less than 2 percent. This year’s spending bill, signed into law a few days ago, is roughly 10 percent lower than last year’s, cutting Pell grants, environmental programs and aid to desperate states. Low-income heating assistance was cut by 25 percent.

    As the economist Jared Bernstein has noted, this is the category of spending that helps people move up the income ladder, providing nutritious food, improving early education and job training and putting people to work.

    The precise cuts on individual programs will be determined each year by appropriators acting under the new caps. Each year’s cuts will be more painful than the last because the spending limits fail to keep pace with population growth, inflation and the needs of the economy.

    This situation is the result of the Republicans’ success at shifting Washington’s focus from job creation and revenue increases to deficit reduction, at exactly the wrong time, when the economy was too weak to handle it.

    The long-term deficit needs to be reduced once economic growth has returned, but only in the context of higher taxes for the rich and a careful restructuring of Medicare. Even if the Bush tax cuts expire on time, much of the $3.8 trillion that that would bring in over a decade would have to be used for deficit reduction if the caps stay in place.

    All of this leaves President Obama and the Democrats with much work to do in 2012. When the 2013 budget process begins in a few weeks, they will need to protect vital investments from further cuts and start building the case for raising the spending caps.

  37. It would be wise to study the criteria Mr. Kayser used to make his endorsement; specifically: limited government and economic policy. In his words, “I support Ron Paul as the Republican candidate for president for a number of reasons. The first reason is that he is the only candidate who holds to a strict constructionist interpretation of the Constitution (i.e., that the Feds can only do what is explicitly enumerated in the Constitution) whereas the other candidates hold to a broad constructionist interpretation (i.e., that the Feds may do whatever is not explicitly forbidden in the Constitution). It is broad constructionism that has gotten us into the mess we are in today, and you cannot fight liberal broad constructionism with conservative broad constructionism. Both lack integrity.
    The second reason is that he is the only candidate that has a consistent philosophy of economics that will truly resolve America’s problems. The economics of each of the other candidates is flawed, and in my opinion grossly unbiblical. ”

    It is imprudent to think that a candidate agrees with every nuance of every view of every endorser. Mr. Paul and Mr. Kayser agree on certain things and those things form the basis for this endorsement.

    Also, your two quotes of Mr. Kayser’s writing deserve comment. The first quote includes a citation from Matthew 28. If you have a problem with that you need to take it up with the original author (God) since Mr. Kayser’s comments are straightforward and non-controversial. For the second quote your lead-in sentence equates biblical law with Sharia law. To do so reveals a profound lack of understanding of those two law administrations. You are merely trying to be provocative and poison the waters of discussion.

  38. Forgive me my ignorance, exactly where in the constitution does it say the words “strict construction”. I must have missed that part. Can you point me to where those EXACT words appear? Is it possible, strictly speaking of course, no such words actually exist in the constitution.

  39. “The first quote includes a citation from Matthew 28. If you have a problem with that you need to take it up with the original author (God) since Mr. Kayser’s comments are straightforward and non-controversial. For the second quote your lead-in sentence equates biblical law with Sharia law. To do so reveals a profound lack of understanding of those two law administrations. You are merely trying to be provocative and poison the waters of discussion.”

    M. Elliott,

    Your assertion that God wrote Matthew puts you right o the same belief system as though who believe in Sharia Law, since they also believe it is mandated by God. I get it that you believe your system is a better one, but that is really in the eyes of the beholder isn’t it? The two systems are comparable because both of them believe they are an expression of divine authority. Jewish Halachah also believes that. As far as your possible argument that “Sharia Law is basically evil in practice, I’m sure history is replete with examples of Christian Dogma being equally creative in oppressing people. Now I’ve read the Gospels and somehow I don’t find any
    economic system referenced there, could you possibly show me where a market economy is decreed?

  40. Well it is that time again. Like it or not it comes once a year, year in and year out.. Maybe the Samoans had it right: they skipped Friday this year so they can move into the other side of the International Date Line. What if we skipped a century or two? Then we could pretend we are living in the Distant Future and actually have learned something about how to live sensibly with our planet and each other. Oh well, maybe next time. In the meantime:


    Thomas Mann
    Time has no divisions to mark its passage; there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.

    Hamilton Wright Mabie
    New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.

    Charles Lamb
    No one ever regarded the first of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam.

    Alfred Lord Tennyson
    Ring out the old, ring in the new,
    Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
    The year is going, let him go;
    Ring out the false, ring in the true.

    William Ellery Channing
    I will seek elegance rather than luxury, refinement rather than fashion. I will seek to be worthy more than respectable, wealthy and not rich. I will study hard, think quietly, talk gently, and act frankly. I will listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with an open heart. I will bear all things cheerfully, do all things bravely await occasions and hurry never. In a word I will let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common.

    Ann Landers
    Let this coming year be better than all the others. Vow to do some of the things you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t find the time. Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories. Vow not to make a promise you don’t think you can keep. Walk tall, and smile more. You’ll look ten years younger. Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I love you’. Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world.

    Maria Edgeworth
    There is no moment like the present. The man who will not execute his resolutions when they are fresh upon him can have no hope from them afterwards: they will be dissipated, lost, and perish in the hurry and scurry of the world, or sunk in the slough of indolence.

    P. J. O’Rourke
    It is better to spend money like there’s no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there’s no money.

    Ogden Nash
    Every New Year is the direct descendant, isn’t it, of a long line of proven criminals?

    George William Curtis
    The New Year begins in a snow storm of white vows.

    Ellen Goodman
    We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives, not looking for flaws, but for potential.

    Samuel Johnson
    Surely, it is much easier to respect a man who has always had respect, than to respect a man who we know was last year no better than ourselves, and will be no better next year.

    Friedrich Nietzsche
    No, life has not disappointed me. On the contrary, I find it truer, more desirable and mysterious every year ever since the day when the great liberator came to me: the idea that life could be an experiment of the seeker for knowledge and not a duty, not a calamity, not trickery.

    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear, and with a manly heart.

    Kersti Bergroth
    It is difficult not to believe that the next year will be better than the old one! And this illusion is not wrong. Future is always good, no matter what happens. It will always give us what we need and what we want in secret. It will always bless us with right gifts. Thus in a deeper sense our belief in the New Year cannot deceive us.

    Albert Einstein
    I feel that you are justified in looking into the future with true assurance, because you have a mode of living in which we find the joy of life and the joy of work harmoniously combined. Added to this is the spirit of ambition which pervades your very being, and seems to make the day’s work like a happy child at play.

    We got up this morning and with any luck we will get up next year as well.

  41. puzzzling, Unless Paul goes third party, he won’t be running against Obama. Right now, it is Paul versus the rest of the republican party.

  42. Nice try, puzzling, but Paul signed a pledge to only appoint pro-life cabinet members before Sebelius made this decision for under 17 women.

  43. Thanks, SM. I’m glad Kathleen Sebelius is qualified to overrule the FDA science panel. Unlike Paul, of course, Obama and his administration is in power now.

    Left ‘speechless’ as Sebelius overrules FDA on access to morning-after pill

    “We expected this kind of action from the Bush administration, so it’s doubly disheartening and unacceptable that this administration chose to follow this path,” NARAL Pro-Choice America said in a statement.

  44. Obama may pick up the neocon vote after all:

    But if, like me, you find Paul’s ideas dangerous, then as bad as he is, Obama is preferable. Despite the many problems I have with Obama on foreign policy, he has continued many of President Bush’s counterterrorism policies and did prove willing to order the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and the drone attack that killed Anwar al-Awlaki.

  45. I for one am very unhappy about voting for Obama given his disastrous and very frightening positions on civil rights issues. But, the prospect of any of the republican candidates being elected scares me to death. I am reading Simon Schama’s history of the French revolution and resulting terror. Lafayette largely figured in the course of the revolution until he let the King and the Austrian Bitch (a/k/a) Marie Antoinette escape from the Tuileries while under his guard. Lafayette constantly consulted with the then American Ambassador to France at the time (T.Jefferson) on the drafting of the French Constitution and the structure of French government. Schama reminded me of Jefferson’s belief that constution conventions should be held every 50 years or so. I think we need a complete overhaul. I hate the direction in which I see our country going. Voting for Obama or most likely Romney is NOT a choice.

  46. “…Virginia-based Xe plans to unveil a new name—Academi—and new logo.” (from the link)

    Company Once Known as Blackwater Ditches Xe for Yet Another New Name


    Dec 12, 2011

    Despite new ownership, a new board and new management, security contractor Xe Services LLC could never shake a troublesome nickname: the company formerly known as Blackwater.

    Now, it’s the company formerly known as Xe.

    On Monday, Virginia-based Xe plans to unveil a new name—Academi—and new logo. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Ted Wright, president and chief executive, said the name change aims to signal a strategy shift by one of the U.S. government’s biggest providers of training and security services.

    Mr. Wright said Academi will try to be more “boring.”

    Founded by former Navy SEAL Erik Prince, the original Blackwater cultivated a special-operations mystique. But it was tarnished by a string of high-profile incidents, including a deadly 2007 shootout in Iraq that ultimately led to its reorganization and rebranding as Xe Services. Mr. Prince left the business in 2010, selling his stake to investor group USTC Holdings LLC.

    Mr. Wright came on board this summer as part of a continuing corporate reorganization. In recent meetings with clients, he said he explained that the new corporate identity was supposed to stress the company’s focus on regulatory compliance and contract management, in addition to its track record of protecting clients. “I tell them, from now on, I’m going to be in the background; I’m going to be boring,” he said. “You’re not going to see me in headlines.”

    But Mr. Wright may be courting controversy in one area. He said he would like to take Academi’s business back to Iraq, and has hired an outside company to help it apply for an operating license there. “I think eventually, we’re going to get a license; we’re going to do business in Iraq,” he said.

    In its various incarnations, Academi has provided protective details for U.S. diplomats and officials in hot spots around the globe. But it is still excluded from one of the most lucrative markets for private security: The Iraqi government stripped the company of its operating license after the 2007 shootout.

    Demand for security contractors in Iraq has surged, however. The State Department is hiring a large contract security force to protect the U.S. mission there, and private security firms also are eyeing possible work for energy companies as the Iraqi oil-and-gas sector opens up to foreign investment.

    Deborah Avant, a professor at the University of Denver who is an expert on private security firms, said the State Department was hiring a “fairly large contingent of people that will be doing a variety of things” in Iraq.

    Iraq’s regulatory and political climate, she said, is fast-changing, and the dynamic will shift after the withdrawal of U.S. troops at the end of the year.

    The rebranded Academi, meanwhile, wants to focus on a new line of business: security assessment. It already provides guards and runs training facilities, but wants to expands its offerings by assessing security risks for both private-sector and government clients.

    The company said it has trained 50,000 people and conducted more than 60,000 protective security missions around the world in the past seven years.

  47. Mike Spindell:

    thanks for that link on Libertarianism. I think it was satire but it was interesting. It does show that government is the only true protector of individual rights. Which is as it should be.

    But I found this which is rather interesting:

    which was written by the editor of that site. It is thought provoking and I think I will buy the book. There is too much wealth concentrated in the hands of a few and government and corporations tend to form unholy alliances of power.

  48. Bron,

    You will notice that my link comes from the same source as your link The Distributist Review. Whether satire, or not, it illustrates the points I’ve been making here for years about the end result of both Libertarian and Objectivist thought that proponents have missed, or have approved.The book looks quite interesting, but I found it is not available for my Kindles. I will find some way to read it because the link whetted my curiosity about Distributist Theory. In your reply to Mespo though I hadn’t thought about Gibbon being available for Kindle. I’ve only got the expurgated version, but now I ca read the full original, thanks.

  49. Mespo:

    you got taken, you can buy the 6 volumes of his history of rome for 99 cents on amazon, or you can download each volume independently for $0.00.

  50. Mike Spindell:

    I finally got a kindle for Christmas and there are so many free books, I will never need to buy another book. As long as the copyright has expired it is free or very affordable.

    Malthus, Smith, Ricardo, Bastiat, Dante, Aristotle, Plato, Hume, Hobbs, Bentham, and many more. some for free some $0.99.

  51. Bron,

    My son-in-law bought me one when I was doing extended hospital stays in 2010. I loved it. My first purchase was the “Complete Works of Mark Twain” for $0.99. My kids bought me a Kindle Fire tablet for my birthday and I like it even better because being backlit, I can read in bed with the lights out and not bother my wife. A problem in my house has always been where to put all the books we’ve accumulated, with our bookshelves overflowing. The Kindle solves that problem and somehow I think it lets me read faster. Re: the inexpensive books this covers almost all of the classics and truly one ca read to their heart’s content and spend little.

  52. Nice try to hurt one of few honest leaders around…. I am physician and supposed I get a person that is bleeding to dead, he also has a horrible acne problem, very painful hemorrhoids and a bad smelling ugly fungus on his toes. If he is bleeding to dead, the acne and other problems are irrelevant. We are killing the US dollars. Iran, racist comments, drugs and whatever you want are just distractions. We need to solve the bleeding before we kill the US….He is the only one talking about solving the REAL problems not the bothersome acne . . .

  53. Did you ever read Dr. Kayser’s material? Or are you just quoting the Huffington Post? I’ll bet you that if you called him and interviewed him, you’d find him to be far different than you’re saying based on someone else’s news report that takes something way out of context and twists it around.

    In all of the hullabaloo, I decided to read Dr. Kayser’s materials because I couldn’t believe that anyone would even say that here in the US. Guess what. There is no place in any of his materials where he says that homosexuals should be executed. In one of his studies, he said that was the way they handled it in the Old Testament. But, there is a new covenant now. He says Christians are to love and not hate. He may believe that homosexuality is a sin, but he is not the monster that you and the Huffington Post says he is. Hate speech in this case was contrived by the HP by taking words out of context. Dr. Kayser never did say or write anything that I can see as hate speech. Research his work (books, sermons, etc.) and find out for yourself. Don’t just quote the Huffington Post.

    I will not ever vote for Ron Paul. And if he pulled the press release about Dr. Kayser without finding out the real truth of the situaiton, then he’s nothing more than just a wish-washy politician at heart, after all. Real men stand up for the truth.

    But, this destroying a good man’s reputation for the purpose of hurting a political campaign like the Huffington Post seems to have done is just dirty pool.



    And I’m a Born-Again Christian.

    RON PAUL 2012!!!!!

  55. Well, as for me, I would prefer Huntsman instead of Obama as a first choice and Romney as a second choice. At least Huntsman does not support a Constitutional Amendment banning civil marriage for sexual minorities. I swear I read somewhere that Ron Paul said civil marriage for sexual minorities is a States Rights issue but he would support a Constitutional Amendment to usurp states rights and enshrine discrimination in our Federal Constitution. John Huntsman does what Ron Paul does, go to his website to look what his policy would be, and there is nothing at all listed for sexual minorities. Ron Paul has a position statement on homeschooling but nothing on civil rights for sexual minorities. John Huntsman likewise says nothing on this topic on his website.
    See more details at:

  56. We, here in America.. have a much larger issue than any other issue.. and that is the fact(s) that there are laws that thwart our US Constitution and what it is suppose to protect, God-given personal Rights, Liberties and Freedoms. Bush signed the Patriot Act.. and Obama signed (in secret, no less) the NDAA.. which, allows for arrest, indefinite detention, torture and assassination of American citizens.. all without due process. Secondly, economically and financially.. the USA is headed for a crisis that will make the Great Depression seem like a walk in the park. And its ‘by design’ in so that chaos will break out and into the streets.. and therefore, Obama will have a just cause (in the eyes of the American people) to enact Martial Law, allowing the military to intervene and start policing our neighborhoods, going door to door collecting everyones guns and arresting people in so to hold them indefinitely.

    So, if a huge number of us are locked away somewhere at a FEMA camp, its not going to matter much of minority marriage/unions are an issues, is it?

    Get the picture? Thirdly, which of any of those running for the presidency will be willing to overturn the Patriot Act and NDAA.. getting the government out of the personal lives of the citizens.. and also, do the right and most sensible things to get our economy back on track as well as, putting the US in a more favorable view to other countries, with a foreign policy that allows the US to get along with others and not make enemies out of everyone else because the US is a bully?

    As far as I know, Ron Paul is the only one with such a mindset. Romney wants to keep the Patriot Act and the NDAA. Santorum does, as well. The object is to get our rights, freedoms and liberties back in full-force.. and our economy back on track.. and a foreign policy that is effective toward helping America and making friends out of other countries.. giving them back their sovereignty and not policing them and trying to make them as we think they should be. We wouldn’t like it if we were constantly policed by foreign military here in the US… but, its going to be such as that if we don’t do some NOW! All the candidates are war-mongers.. with the exception of Ron Paul. He is the brightest and most well-informed of them all… by far. The rest have another agenda.


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